November 21, 2012

National Gingerbread Day

"Had I but a penny in the world, thou shouldst have it for gingerbread." - William Shakespeare

It's National Gingerbread Day!

It is a little known fact that National Gingerbread Day is celebrated twice in the food calendar. Once on June 5th (which just seems altogether too silly to even entertain) and once today, on November 21st, which makes a heckuva lot more sense!

Gingerbread was introduced to Europe around 992 by an Armenian monk named Gregory of Nicopolis when he relocated from Greece to France. He taught other monks and French priests how to make the spicy, sweet treat. It soon became very popular. Gingerbread "men" weren't created until the 16th century, where it's said that Queen Elizabeth I offered her guests cookies that looked like them.

So, whether you're making "men", building a house, or just baking a loaf - today is the perfect day - the calm before the turkey storm - to sit somewhere quietly with a mug of hot tea or coffee (spiked with some whisky if you have a particularly nasty relative you're preparing to deal with) and some gingerbread to indulge on. Go ahead. Calories don't count this time of year anyway.

Happy National Gingerbread Day!